WightBlat 2024

Last weekend was the first major drive of the season, the WightBlat 2024. This is an annual event organised by Alex and Simon on the Isle of Wight. This year it was based at the excellent Luccombe Hall hotel in Shanklin. I was in France for the week before, but keeping a close eye on the Met Office forecasts for the weekend! With a high pressure system moving in I booked the last remaining room at the hotel and the ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne.

Having got back home from Lyon at 10pm the night before, it was an early start on the Friday to prep the car and meet up with Essex legend Debbie at the M25 Brentwood junction. It was pretty cold at 9am so I had the half hood on and heater going. Debbie turns up with no roof and leather hat, fair play! Her Xflow only has a 4-speed box, but we're heading round the M25 and then down to Gatwick before A-roads to Portsmouth, managing to avoid the rain. Despite being booked on the 2pm ferry we both managed to get on the one before, and get to the hotel around 3pm.

Some of the rooms have a sea view, but I'm at the front overlooking the cars..

Rooms 1 and 2 even have their own garage! Something to remember for next year. The hotel is ideal for a Caterham meet-up, and has very nice gardens and views over the sea.

In the afternoon there was a little walk around Shanklin Chine before heading to the bar.

The itinerary for Saturday was an initial drive to Quarr Abbey for coffee.

And then heading out West to get to the excellent Military Road that runs down the South coast of the island. Lunch was at the Wight Mouse Inn.

And then back to the hotel in time for a swim and sauna before afternoon drinks. Weather was great all day!

Most people left on the Sunday morning, and at breakfast there was the competition for the Effin Owl Trophy. The winners were required to take the trophies home in the car, and then return them next year.

Well done to Paul and Sandra for very sportingly strapping the owls to their beautiful Cosworth BDR.

That's a proper car..

Having got the midday ferry back home with Leon & Bev, I had a very pleasant drive along the A272 to Crawley and then a blast around the M25 to home. It was a great weekend with some excellent company, a very good start to the season!